Backstory and Context
"The Billmyer House is an important part of the district because it was extensively used for an inn as early as the American Revolution; it was also the home of John F. Hamtramck who was both ward of Henry Harrison and the greatest military figure in Shepherdstown’s annals. After attending West Point, he became a United States Indian agent, colonel in command of the Virginia regiment during the war with Mexico, and from March to July 1848, he was Military Governor of Saltillo, Mexico. He also commanded several local groups." (1)
“David Billmyer was one of the town’s most illustrious 19th Century citizens. He owned 1,400 acres in the area and had many business interests, including the first toll bridge across the Potomac River here.” Billmyer purchased this building from the widow Ann Hammond, and it must have been his first store. Before Billmyer bought the building, it was the house of the Hammonds and Kearsley Store. There Elais Baker worked from 1862-1867 as both an assistant store keeper and post master. In 1873, he completed the three story section, which housed the Jefferson Security Bank. He served eleven terms on the Town Council between 1859-1882. He helped to incorporate the Elmwood Cemetery and Shepherd College. Billmyer was a Unionist during the Civil War.
(2) FAMILY HISTORIES PRESENTED AT SHEPHERDSTOWN 250TH ANNIVERSARY COMING HOME PARADE SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012. Historic Shepherdstown and Museum. Accessed July 21, 2017. http://historicshepherdstown.com/research/shepherdstown-250-parade/.